One thing that I like about MicroStrategy is the ability to create Web documents. Nowadays self-service discovery technologies (being based on Flash or HTML5) tend to constrain a little the “creative” side of the data analysis: trading off the ease of use for a quite limited set of tools to picture your data. Boundaries are build and it is difficult to bend the rules.
I believe that Business Intelligence is about information as much as about design, and -surely enough- a nice looking dashboard is always preferable to a boring dull one.
A fundamental aspect of modern day web pages is the CSS Opacity / Transparency, so why not using it in a dashboard to spicy it up? The components and widget that come with MicroStrategy allow a very limited use of “No Fill” in the background: you can create a transparent Chart or Panel, but not a transparent rectangle. So I simply created a series of white PNGs with different alpha values that I can insert on top of a background picture to simulate a see-through rectangle.
Then I downloaded a background picture on Flickr (careful with the CC license…) and removed the main panel of a blank dashboard.
You can see the result here, where a Web document turns to A Whiter Shade Of Pale.
You can download the transparent pngs here.